On June 5, I wrote a column about the stinging double-digit defeat Congressman Andrews suffered at the hands of Senator Frank Lautenberg in the June Democratic Primary and asked, “Is it back to the House for Andrews?”
Andrews himself steadfastly denied that he would ever return to the House, as did his wife, Camille, who sat on the line for the seat in the June primary. However, this past week, Mr. Andrews reversed course and announced that he would retake the Democratic line from his wife and run in November for re-election to his Congressional seat.
It appears that Congressman Andrews has indeed had second thoughts about surrendering his seat since his political future after his June demise is now an uncertain one. While some voters may be angry with him for his duplicitous behavior, the residents of his district will likely welcome him with open arms given his strong popularity there. Those who will be most upset are people who are not residents of his district and, therefore, cannot vote in that election.
That said, the reversal by Mr. Andrews is one that does nothing to improve the general view that many politicians act solely in their own interest and that their word means little. Here, the Congressman time and again vehemently denied any interest in retaining his seat and went so far as to implicitly criticize the press for continuing to raise the possibility, yet he turned around and did the very thing he emphatically said he would never do. While Mr. Andrews has every right to change his mind, his flip-flop behavior is troubling.
Handshakes consummating decisions in the business world are long gone. Similarly, it appears that politicians whose word used to count are also becoming obsolete. Congressman Andrews is just one more example.
Michael M. Shapiro, founder of ShapTalk.com, is an attorney who resides in New Providence. He currently serves as the editor of The Alternative Press, www.thealternativepress.com. Contact Mike at email@example.com